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Hither does David his bless'd parents bring;
With humble greatness begs of Moab's king
A safe and fair abode, where they might live
Free from those storms with which himself must

strive.
The king with cheerful grace his suit approved,
By hate to Saul, and love to Virtue, moved.
Welcome, great Knight, and your fair Troop,

(said he) Your name found welcome long before with me; That to rich Ophir’s rising morn is known, And stretch'd-out far to the burnt swarthy zone: Swift Fame, when her round journey she does make, Scorns not sometimes us in her way to take. Are

you the man did that huge giant kill, Great Baâl of Phegor ? and how young

he's still ! From Ruth we heard you came; Ruth was born

here, In Judah sojourn’d, and (they say) match'd there To one of Bethlem; which I hope is true: Howe'er, your virtues here entitle you: Those have the best alliance always been; To gods as well as men they make us kin.”

He spoke, and straight led in his thankful guests To' a stately room prepared for shows and feasts: The room with golden tapestry glister'd bright, At once to please, and to confound, the sight, The' excellent work of Babylonian hands! In midst a table of rich ivory stands, By three fierce tigers and three lions borne, Which grin, and fearfully the place adorn; Widely they gape, and to the eye they roar, As if they hunger'd for the food they bore.

About it beds of Libyan citron stood,
With coverings dyed in Tyrian fishes' blood
(They say, the’ Herculean art): but most delight
Some Pictures gave to David's learned sight.
Here several ways Lot and great Abram go,
Their too-much wealth vast and unkind does

grow; • Thus each extreme to equal danger tends, Plenty, as well as Want, can separate friends. Here Sodom's towers raise their proud tops on high (The towers, as well as men, outbrave the sky); By it the waves of reverend Jordan run, Here green with trees, there gilded with the sun; Hither Lot's household comes, a numerous train, And all with various business fill the plain : Some drive the crowding sheep with rural hooks ; They lift

up

their mild heads, and bleat in looks : Some drive the herds; here a fierce bullock scorns The' appointed way, and runs with threatening

horns ; In vain the herdman calls him back again ; The dogs stand off afar, and bark in vain : Some lead the groaning waggons, loaded high With stuff, on top of which the maidens lie: Upon tall camels the fair sisters ride, And Lot talks with them both on either side. Another picture to cursed Sodom brings Elam's proud lord, with his three servant-kings : They sack the town, and bear Lot bound away ; Whilst in a pit the vanquish'd Bera lay, Buried almost alive, for fear of death; [breath ; But Heaven's just vengeance saved as yet his Abraham pursues, and stays the victor's host, Scarce had their conquest leisure for a boast,

Next this was drawn the reckless city's flame, When a strange hell pour'd down from heaven

there came. Here the two angels from Lot's window look With smiling anger; the lewd wretches, strook With sudden blindness, seek in vain the door; Their eyes, first cause of lust, first vengeance bore. Through liquid air Heaven's busy soldiers fly, And drive on clouds where seeds of thunder lie: Here the sad sky glows red with dismal streaks, Here lightning from it with short trembling breaks; Here the blue flames of scalding brimstone fall, Involving swiftly in one ruin all : The fire of trees and houses mounts on high, And meets half-way new fires that shower from sky. Some in their arms snatch their dear babes away; At once drop down the father's arms and they : Some into waters leap with kindled hair, And, more to vex their fate, are burnt ey'n there. Men thought (so much a flame by art was shown) The picture's self would fall in ashes down. Afar old Lot toward little Zoar hies, And dares not move (good man!) his weeping

eyes : Behind his wife stood, ever fix'd alone; No more a woman, not yet quite a stone : A lasting death seized on her turning head; One cheek was rough and white, the other red, And yet a cheek: in vain to speak she strove ; Her lips, though stone, a little seem'd to move: One eye was closed, surprised by sudden night, The other trembled still with parting light : The wind admired, which her hair loosely bore, Why it

grew stiff, and now would play no more :

To heaven she lifted up her freezing hands,
And to this day a suppliant pillar stands :
She try'd her heavy foot from ground to rear,
And raised the heel, but her toes rooted there :
Ah, foolish woman! who must always be
A sight more strange than that she turn'd to see!

Whilst David fed with these his curious eye,
The feast is now serv’d-in, and down they lie.
Moab a goblet takes of massy gold,
Which Zippor, and from Zippor all of old (round
Quaff”d to their gods and friends : an health goes
In the brisk grape of Arnon's richest ground.
Whilst Melchor to his harp with wondrous skill
(For such were poets then, and should be still)
His noble verse through Nature's secrets led :
He sung what spirit through the whole mass is
spread,

[prove, Every-where All; how heavens God's law apAnd think it rest eternally to move ; How the kind sun usefully comes and goes, Wants it himself, yet gives to man repose ; How his round journey does for ever last, And how he baits at every sea in haste: He sung

how earth blots the moon's gilded wane, Whilst foolish men beat sounding brass in vain ; Why the great waters her slight horns obey, Her changing horns, not constanter than they : He

sung how grisly comets hang in air ; Why sword and plagues attend their fatal hair; God's beacons for the world, drawn up so far, To publish ill, and raise all earth to war : Why contraries feed thunder in the cloud; What motions vex it, till it roar so loud:

How lambent fires become so wondrous tame,
And bear such shining winter in their flame:
What radiant pencil draws the watery bow:
What ties up hail, and picks the fleecy snow :
What palsy of the earth here shakes fix'd hills
From off her brows, and here whole rivers spills.
Thus did this Heathen Nature's secrets tell,
And sometimes miss'd the Cause, butsought it well.

Such was the sauce of Moab's noble feast,
Till night far spent invites them to their rest;
Only the good old Prince stays Joab there,
And much he tells, and much desires to hear:
He tells deeds antique, and the new desires ;
Of David much, and much of Saul, inquires.

Nay, gentle guest!” said he, “since now you're The story of your gallant friend begin; [in, His birth, his rising, tell, and various fate, And how he slew that man of Gath of late, What was he callid ? that huge and monstrous

man !” With that he stopped, and Joab thus began :

“ His birth, great Sir! so much to mine is tied, That praise of that might look from me like pride: Yet, without boast, his veins contain a flood Of the old Judæan lion's richest blood. From Judah Pharez, from him Esrom, came, Ram, Nashon, Salmon, names spoke loud by fame: A name no less ought Boaz to appear, By whose bless'd match we come no strangers here: From him and your fair Ruth good Obed sprung, From Obed Jesse, Jesse, whom Fame's kindest

tongue, Counting his birth, and high nobility, shall Not Jesse of Obed, but of David, call,

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